Week 85 - July 7, 2004

The entire night was spent cutting & preparing the 3/8 x 3" basswood.This was installed between the top & bottom front wing spars at the inboard nacelle's. This doesn't sound like much, but all cuts are angles and it takes time to acquire nice tight fits. As mentioned last week, this is not "stock construction". We are doing this because there is a lot going on in this area, as both engine supports and landing gear are mounted here and we didn't like the construction as shown. All were glued in using 2-ton epoxy. We called it a night once this was done as we needed the epoxy to cure before moving.

Oh yea...Greg finished hinging one of the ailerons between jobs. We will not mount until the flaps are mounted. This is needed to be done in this order to assure proper trailing wing edge is maintained. I think, the landing gear mounting is priority right now. Next week we will cut landing gear wedges then check calculations to splice the inboard nacelle supports back together.

Last note; Rick has been running/breaking in our motors. Nothing has changed as yet on rpm or power. Greg got a different carb this week which has both low speed and high speed adjustments. Rick took the carb home and is going to try on the motors to see if it helps them.

--Gary Himes

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Week 86 - July 14 2004

To night wasn't practically exciting. Greg worked on slotting holes for the ailerons while Rick and Gary made the wedge shaped landing gear blocks and installed them. It don't sound like much but is easier said than done. The wedge is cut both top to bottom and left to right which will make the rear landing gear mounting on a plane totally parallel to the fire walls. Once made we glued them in with 2-ton epoxy and called it a night. We were afraid of disturbing the glue setting and positioning of the part.

This week fellow B17 builder Hans Shull e-mail me. He had the same problem with the nacelle side formers being short only he caught the problem before he was glued together. He also stated we were "right on" in beefing up the landing gear mounting area.  At top gun he saw another B17 which keep breaking the front mount. Once that was fixed the rear mount broke and drove it through the top of the wing.

Last Saturday Rick and Greg run the motors some more and tried the new poulan carb which we acquired. There was a problem and you can read Greg's version right after I get finished here. We found a Walbro carb which will fit our motor and have one on order.

Gary Himes

Now for Greg's report:

The new carburetor arrived from Carr-Precision. Rick and I installed it on the engines. This carb has high and low speed adjustment needles. We were able to get a consistent 6000 to 6100 RPM's out of the engines with the stock mufflers. A slight improvement, however the best news is in the idle. The idle speed dropped nearly 1000 RPM's to 1900 - 2000, which is very good.

On a somewhat humorous side note of course it wasn't funny at the time: Carr mentions the velocity stack will help improve performance. So to try a down and dirty test of this, I removed the choke assembly from the carb (won't need it anyway) and remounted the carb to one of the engines. We started the engine. On throttle up, the engine suddenly made a terrible sound and abruptly stopped. We checked the piston, which was damaged, and discovered that when I removed the choke assembly, the retaining spring for the choke went into the venturi, (I thought it dropped in the grass). These engines obviously do not ingest springs very well. Being a professional mechanic, Rick just shook his head and chuckled at my horrified look. So off we went to get another engine, a 50 dollar oversight. It is nice to know that after nearly 2 years on this project, we can still laugh at each other without getting upset.

Greg Golden

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